Not for profit
Stop Lying In Politics Ltd. is a UK, non-partisan, not for profit organisation which is dedicated to protecting the public from lying in politics. We exist to set a precedent against lying in politics in the English common law, making it illegal for any politician to lie to the public, influencing English common law jurisdictions around the world.
Freedom of political speech is a vital pillar of a democratic society that must always be protected but it does not extend to dishonest statements. Outright lying about public spending, the reasons for going to war and other matters of national interest should not be permitted under the law.
We investigate elected representatives on a cross-party basis. Our prosecution targets are chosen based upon the strength of evidence against them and the public trust invested in their public offices.
Keep up to date on our prosecution cases and other work to Stop Lying In Politics by signing up to our newsletter.
Our achievements so far
Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled in our favour that Boris Johnson must face a full crown court criminal trial for abusing his power of influence(for lying to the public about the £350 million claim). This was the first summons precedent against dishonest public spending claims made by an elected representative in global common law history. An excellent first step.
After an investigation, we discovered that the judge who had shut down our case against ex-Mayor Boris Johnson had previously worked as one of the Mayor's lawyers for an undisclosed payment of £35,500. Our subsequent complaint concerning undisclosed apparent bias to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office made national press.
We've criminally prosecuted the UK's Prime Minister for lying to the public. This has never been done in common law history ever before and we're planning to do another action next. We must set a precedent against lying in politics, this is our mission. We prosecuted Boris Johnson in his capacity as Mayor of London and Member of Parliament but he became the Prime Minister by the time our case was shut down by Judge Supperstone.
We're getting the world talking about the legality of lying in politics! Major international news platforms from BBC Worldwide to CNN, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg and Reuters have all covered our efforts to make lying in politics illegal. We've even hit Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Columbian, and South African national news.
In crowdfunding raised! Across five different crowdfunds we've raised funding specifically for legal costs, communications fees and keeping the team going. In terms of money raised and press coverage achieved we're the biggest crowdfunded criminal prosecution case in UK history.
People are crowdfunding our work and backing our cause from all over the world! We have over 15,000 unique individual backers across 5 different crowdfunds. The vast majority of our backers are from the UK but we also have a lot from the US and beyond.
Equality under the law
Equality under the law is a vital cornerstone of any healthy system of justice. It means that no matter who you are, you are held to account under the same laws as other people with the same legal responsibilities as you.
The Speechley case, the Wallis case and R V Cosford involved a public office holding elected councillor, police officer, and a prison officer. All three were given prison sentences based upon the damage they had caused to public trust by lying about matters of public importance, in abuse of their duties.
If other public office holders can go to prison for lying then so can a Member of Parliament, a Minister or a Prime Minister. Because all are equal under the law. How famous, powerful or wealthy they are is legally irrelevant.
Protecting freedom of speech
Meaning that a prosecution against lying in politics would not infringe upon the vital human right of freedom of expression.
Politicians need to be able to state their aspirations, predictions, and promises in order to do their jobs. But, these actions are very different from outright lying, which are knowingly false statements of fact intended to deceive.
Enabling Public trust in democratic systems
‘Democracy can only survive when ordinary men and women have faith in the integrity of those whose responsibility is the preservation of integrity of Parliament in all its workings’
-R v Jackson (1988)
Public trust is abused when a jury decides that elected representatives have lied to the public in abuse of their duties. Examples may include serious and not trivial, repeated dishonest statements about:
Politicians keep lying to us about really important things and we haven't worked out how to protect the public from them yet. The public's trust in our democratic systems cannot be maintained until we have established that such actions are illegal.
Holding judges to account to preserve public trust in the judicial system
Westminster Magistrates' Court spent over three months carefully reviewing our first prosecution case against Boris Johnson. They carried out two hearings and considered three written arguments and several email exchanges. In contrast, the High Court's own ruling and court transcripts reveal that they didn't reference our main legal argument and did not read our case research. They shut the case down after having the papers for around three days and they carried out just one hearing. They also dismissed our appeal application with an email simply stating 'no', 'no', no'. This conduct greatly concerned Marcus and the team so he set out to investigate. What he discovered has been summarised in this video.
Marcus J Ball, the founder of Stop Lying In Politics, is available to speak about the campaign within the media, at schools, universities, companies, and at events. He can speak on the following topics:
The media and well known individuals comment on our work.
Lying In Politics Prosecution 2019 Media Selection
A selection of media clips covering the 2019 prosecution case against lying in politics. Including footage from BBC News, Channel 4, Al Jazeera, Have I Got News For You, The Last Leg, and more.
Lewis Power QC, criminal barrister Church Court Chambers (ITV News)
“Democracy demands responsible and honest leadership from those in public office.” “The conduct of the proposed defendant Boris Johnson was both irresponsible and dishonest. It was, we say, criminal.”
Keir Starmer MP, Ex Director of Public Prosecutions (On Twitter)
“It’s a process that’s been around for hundreds of years. It’s not a trial of personalities. It’s a question of whether the law has been broken.”
Gina Miller, judicial review public law champion (Speaking on ITV)
"It is about holding our politicians to account in public office and their responsibility when it comes to the messages and information they disseminate to the public"
Robert Peston ITV journalist and author (on Twitter)
"I met @MarcusJBall a few weeks ago and was impressed by how as a young person he has devoted his life to fighting what he sees as dishonesty in politics. His case was based on what is appropriate conduct in public office. Whatever side of Brexit debate you are on, important to see Ball’s tenacity as extraordinary."
Paul Brennan, journalist (Speaking on Al Jazeera)
“Concerns about the character and truthfulness of politicians are not new. George Orwell described politics as a mass of lies, evasion, folly. But seeing a politician held criminally responsible misleading campaign slogans would indeed be a startling precedent”.
Ian Hislop, Editor of Private Eye Magazine (speaking on Have I Got News For You)
“At the moment we’re just at the preliminary stage about whether when he was a public official he was telling lies and therefore abusing his office. It’s very similar to putting the Pope on trial and saying are you a Catholic? ...I would like him to have a fair trial, with a desirable result with him being imprisoned forever.”
“After two years of case research we intend to bring a private criminal prosecution for misconduct in public office against Boris Johnson MP.” COURAGE HAS A NEW NAME! DONATE TO @MarcusJBall case so that Boris Johnson is held fully to account!"
Cost of EU Membership per year according to Boris Johnson
Cost of EU membership per year according to Boris Johnson (in billions) and in chronological order. Thank you for the journalism of Laura Kuenssberg, Tom Bradby, Simon Harris, Rylan Clark-Neal and Holly Willoughby who worked to draw out these statements from this elected representative.
This is the amount that Stop Lying In Politics and its founder, Marcus J Ball, currently owe in court costs. We must settle these before we go back to court.
The vast majority of funds raised have been spent on legal fees so far, with communications costs coming in second.
Stop Lying In Politics also crowdfunds to pay for Marcus and his team's financial upkeep(around minimum wage per hour). You can read about how much money we spend specifically on our tax returns, the full company accounts are included here(we have no legal obligation to publish these but we choose to anyway for transparency):
Company Accounts 2016-2017-read
Company Accounts 2017-2018-read
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